Grinding the Present Moment

Just dropping some little bombs. I don’t have any bunker busters at the moment.

Mental noise: I keep noticing how much noise there is in my head. Whenever I notice it, it disappears. This is a type of meditation that anyone can practice throughout the day. It’s important to note that having silence in your head does not make you a zombie. It makes you relaxed but more alert. Carrying a head full of noise does the opposite: it makes you tense and distracted. Being tense and distracted puts limits on what you can accomplish.

Grinding the present: I find it useful to remind myself that the present moment is the only place where anything gets done.

Free will & spontaneity: Back in the day, I busted some philosophy speed-runs with Shuba and his kin. The conclusion was that free will does not exist. Our brain is a calculator that solves problems by choosing the best option according to what we value. For example, a person who values standing out in a crowd is more likely to dress in unusual clothes, but their decisions are still made according to an underlying process which they have no control over. If you ask them why they are wearing a sombrero in February, they might tell you they are a free spirit when it comes to fashion. If free will does not exist, then they are simply bound by differently-assigned variables, and the sombrero is the end result of these different values.

This might sound like a depressing perspective on life, one which paints humans as souls imprisoned within robotic shells. Each human pursues whatever comes naturally to them; what is natural for one person is different for the next. Committing crimes comes naturally to some people. After waking up in jail, their brain might re-assign certain values and a “new person” may emerge from a brain that previously valued drugs and money above all else.

This is what I really wanted to discuss: does a person actually emerge from their thoughts? Your thoughts are a reflection of your values, which are not consciously controlled, and so the self which emerges from our thoughts is also uncontrolled. This artificial self is sometimes called the ego. It exists as an interface between the brain and the outside world. It is a structure of repetitive thoughts. When a person’s values change, their thoughts change, and so the ego changes; a “new person” emerges with a new purpose in life.

“Free will doesn’t exist?! You can’t take my freedom!”
The point is that (1) not only does free will not exist, but (2) there was never a self to “possess” free will in the first place.

” … First you take my freedom, and now you’re saying I don’t even exist?!”
Your true identity is inseparable from you because it is you. It cannot be taken away. The ego, on the other hand, is just a thought which disappears every night when you go to bed. The ego’s structure appears rock solid because it is so repetitive. When we examine this repetitive structure, however, we see that it is just mental noise. How could mental noise ever hope to have free will?

When illusions like the ego and free will are washed away, what’s left is real freedom – the selfless and perfect way of the universe.

World-building 101: Yo, enough of this pansy-ass philosophical mumbo-jumbo. Let’s get back into the real world so we can start building fake worlds. This is a new branch of learning for me, so it’s not really World-building 101. It’s more like World-building for Pre-schoolers. I’ve already put this project on hold so I can finish some older stuff, but I thought it’d be fun to post some noobfoolery in action.

(1) First, I used everyone’s favorite artsy program to make a 400 x 400 pixel masterpiece. Within moments, my phone was ringing off the hook. Every major art institute in North America was trying to throw scholarships my way, and I hadn’t even uploaded the mother yet.

Actually, I didn’t have a phone while making this.

(2) Next, I used Torque 3D’s terrain builder to upload my image as a texture. I slapped that beast down on top of some sand.

When creating worlds, it is important to nod your head to sick beats.

(3) Torque 3D has a default player character that you can use to explore right away.

Dude, you said we were going on a magical adventure… and now this?

The grass is the only thing that I created in that screenshot. It was a fun first step, and I’m looking forward to more advanced stuff like programming in TorqueScript and rendering my own 3D models.

Back to the grindstone.

Who is your hero? Part II

“Challenge something that is way beyond your abilities.”
null
A quote from one of my favourite mangaka, Takehiko Inoue. He is probably known best for his basketball comics, but has also spent around the last twelve years drawing the hugely popular Vagabond series. It’s a fictionalized telling of the life of legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. The series is due to wrap up in about a year, but with big projects there are often delays.

To me, Takehiko represents someone who has dedicated his life to drawing. Despite being one of the world’s best, he still struggles with constant deadlines, all-nighters, and getting his characters to act the way they should when he puts them down on paper. According to him, the quality of his work depends on the “purity of his soul” when he sits down to draw; he is most successful when his mind is relaxed and able to express itself clearly. His art is both inspiring and entertaining.

*Crunch crunch* … who is this?

Willie is what I used to be called, so I’m going to go with that.

My to-do list is all about writing, drawing and meditating.

I think the highest forms of art put you in another world, and I want to attain that level in both my writing and drawing.

My meditation is directed toward self-discovery.

I’ll talk more about these things later. It is time to sleep well… or else.